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2010 preseason schedule announced

In some ways, it's a typical preseason schedule for the Steelers in 2010, but there are enough differences – and things of historical significance – to keep things interesting.

The NFL released the preseason schedules for all 32 teams today, and while the sites and opponents have been set, some of the dates and kickoff times are still to be determined.

Viewed chronologically, the Steelers' preseason schedule starts with a home game against Detroit, consecutive road games vs. the New York Giants and Denver Broncos, and it all ends with what recently has become the annual finale against the Carolina Panthers, this one to be at Heinz Field.

The NFL preseason opens with the Hall of Fame Game, on Sunday, Aug. 8, pitting the Cincinnati Bengals and the Dallas Cowboys, which means the rest of the league will open the following weekend.

That would put the Steelers preseason opener against the Lions at Heinz Field on the weekend of Aug. 13-15, which then puts the team's game vs. the Giants on the following weekend (Aug. 20-22).

That will be the Giants first home game in their new stadium, which is the NFL's way of returning the favor, because the Steelers' opponent for the first game at Three Rivers Stadium in 1970 was the New York Giants. The Steelers won that preseason game, 21-6, but they would lose their regular season home opener at Three Rivers Stadium to the Houston Oilers, 19-7.

As for the opener against the Lions, it will mark Detroit's first trip to Pittsburgh for a preseason game since 2001. On Aug. 25, 2001 – the third weekend of that preseason – Steelers vs. Lions was the first game played at Heinz Field. The Steelers won, 20-7. Then on Aug. 24, 2002, the Steelers served as the Lions' inaugural opponent at Ford Field. The Steelers won that game as well, 34-22.

During the third week of their preseason, the Steelers are scheduled for a nationally televised game on Sunday, Aug. 29 against the Broncos at Invesco Field. That game will start at 8 p.m. and will be televised by FOX. It will mark the first time the Steelers and Broncos have met in the preseason.

The finale will be against the Carolina Panthers, the seventh straight season those teams have met to conclude their preseasons. Typically, the Steelers like to play their final preseason game on a Thursday, which would place the date of this game on Sept. 2 if the trend holds.

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